PBL’s fourth edition to start off with high octane encounterNovember 28, 2018, Pune, Hyderabad
Reigning Olympic and World champion Carolina Marin could be the ace that actress-turned-owner Tapsee Pannu will be relying on to give the kind of kick-start that Pune 7 Aces would need when it opens the campaign against Hyderabad Hunters in the fourth edition of the Vodafone Premier Badminton League (PBL), beginning on December 22.
The fourth season of PBL, organised by Sportzlive under the aegis of Badminton Association of India (BAI), will begin its journey from Mumbai.
“We have a new team in Pune 7 Aces and this season we will be playing in two new cities—Ahmedabad and Pune—keeping in mind BAI and PBL’s efforts to promote and take the game far and wide,” said BAI president Himanta Biswa Sarma.
For the left-hander Marin, it comes as a challenge which she will cherish as the Spaniard would be playing against the team that she has been a part until last season. That itself makes the opening contest a mouth-watering affair as she is expected to take on none other than P.V. Sindhu, an Indian icon.
“I will be representing my own city and that makes this opening clash even more special. You can expect full-throated support from the Hunters which will prove to be our strength as we face Pune. I will look forward to play against Carolina and it will surely be match to remember,” said Sindhu, talking on her singles contest against the Spaniard.
The 2016 Olympic champion had helped Hyderabad hunt down the title last year, will have no qualm while competing against the team that she had represented. This is what makes the lung-opener in Mumbai very interesting.
“I am now part of a new team and yet another Indian city; you can expect me to give my hundred percent to Pune 7 Aces. As for the match against Sindhu, both of us will want to win our tie. My job is to play to the best of my ability and I will certainly do it,” said the crafty left-hander.
Indeed, the two have had a great rivalry, especially since the Rio Games final which spilled over to the Worlds. Sindhu, who lost on both occasions will have the home advantage and would be looking to avenge her back-to-back losses in Mumbai, to give a positive start to the Hyderabad Hunters. The added advantage is the Korean mixed doubles specialist Eom Hye Won, a marquee player who can change the fortunes for the Hunters. As a counter, 7 Aces have Danish doubles former No1, Mathias Boe and promising Lakshya Sen in their ranks.